President Joe Biden is pursuing free college tuition for students who attend historically black colleges, universities, and community colleges as a form of slavery reparations.
The Biden administration is moving forward with policies benefitting Black Americans. Congress is considering creating a commission to study the merits of direct slavery reparation payments, White House adviser Cedric Richmond told Axios in an interview. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Feb. 17 about legislation that would create the commission.
“If you start talking about free college tuition to [historically black colleges and universities] and you start talking about free community college in Title I and all of those things, I think that you are well on your way,” Richmond said.
“We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African-Americans. We have to do stuff now,” he added.
Richmond also said that there is an urgency to start pursuing policies that “break down barriers” immediately, regardless of how Congress decides to proceed with direct payment reparations.
“We don’t want to wait on a study,” Richmond said. “We’re going to start acting now.”
Democratic Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee is sponsoring the legislation that is currently working its way through Congress. Biden endorsed the legislation during the 2020 presidential election.
“The uncomfortable truth is that the United States owes its position as the most powerful nation in the world to its slave-owning past,” Jackson Lee said in a statement on the day of the hearing.